4 Considerations When Deciding to Either Replace or Repair Your Roof
Here are some things to consider when deciding between a roof replacement and a roof repair.
1. Age of Roof
If your roof is showing signs of aging and/or has suffered storm damage, leaks, or other problems, it may be a good idea to consider replacing it. Replacing an older, damaged or failing roof, rather than repeatedly paying for roof repairs, can be worth the investment whether you intend to stay in your home for several decades or plan to sell soon.
BIG TAKEAWAY: THE MORE YOU REPAIR, THE MORE IT WILL COST IN THE LONG RUN. ULTIMATELY REPLACING THE ROOF WILL COST MORE FOR 2 MAIN REASONS
- AS TIME ELAPSES, THE COST GOES UP TO REPAIR AND
- RISK OF UNDERLAYMENT AND INTERIOR DAMAGE DRIVES COSTS UP!
2. Roof Leaks
A leaky roof is one of the most common reasons homeowners need roof repairs or a roof replacement. If you’ve seen water stains inside your home that run across ceilings or down your walls, the cause could be a leaky roof. Finding the source of the roof leak can often be tricky, but a certified roofing contractor can help with the process.
Regardless of the source of your leak, it’s important to solve a leaky roof problem sooner rather than later — something that begins as a small leak can eventually lead to bigger problems, such as:
- Rotting framing and roof sheathing
- Damaged ceilings, and
- Wet or destroyed insulation
BIG TAKEAWAY: IF THE ROOF IS OLD, LEAKS LEAD TO MORE LEAKS
3. The Extent of Roof Damage
If you’re deciding between a roof repair or roof replacement, then it’s likely your roof has either deteriorated in appearance and/or has suffered other physical damage. Working with a trusted roofing contractor can help you better understand the extent of any roof damage you may have so you can make the right decision for your home and budget.
Signs of roof damage will differ slightly between various types of roofing material but generally fall into two main categories: aesthetic damage and structural damage.
- Roofing material looks old and worn
- Moss, dark streaks or algae is growing on or in between the roofing materials
- Curled or cupped edges on asphalt or wood shingles
- Missing granules and bald spots on asphalt shingles
- Cracked or broken asphalt, tile or wood shingles
- Dented or perforated asphalt, tile, wood or metal roofing components
- Rusted metal shingles or panels
BIG TAKEAWAY: If you have these signs, its only a matter of time you need to replace and the longer you wait, the more it will cost.
4. Roof Replacement Cost
Of course, the cost of getting a new roof is one of the biggest considerations for homeowners when it comes to a reroof vs. repair.
In general, roofing repairs are going to cost less than a complete reroof project; however, if you’re paying for a slew of repairs over the course of a few years, they might eventually exceed the cost of an entire roof replacement.
Your roofing contractor can provide estimates to help you weigh the options of what might be the most budget-conscious solution without putting your home at risk from a failing roof, and may offer roof financing options.
While a complete roof replacement might be more expensive up-front, it does mean you won’t have to pay for successive repairs, especially if there are multiple trouble spots on your roof’s surface. Plus, a new roof can offer peace of mind, knowing that what you value most under your roof is protected from the elements.
When to Get a Roof Repair
If you need to repair a small portion of your roof or replace a couple of shingles in an isolated area with minor wind damage, then replacing damaged material in that section can be relatively simple and inexpensive.
Damaged, torn, or missing asphalt shingles, for example, can usually be replaced with new ones fairly easily. Other roofing materials may be more complex or expensive to replace individually, such as metal panels.
One downside to this approach is in trying to match roofing materials so that the repaired area blends in with the rest of the roof. For example, if you have spare shingles leftover from a previous reroofing job, the colors may be close but may not match exactly due to exposure.
Another option is to ask your roofing contractor to order shingles that correspond to the existing color as much as possible.
If the damage to your roof is more significant but confined to one side or area of your roof, partial reroofing may be an option, and it’s likely to cost less than a complete reroofing project.
Again, one downside to a partial reroofing project is aesthetics. It may be harder to match the color of the new roofing materials with the existing ones. Over time, roofing material can fade due to exposure to the elements. As a result, the newly reroofed portion may stand out from the rest of the roof.
When to Get a New Roof
While generally more expensive upfront, a new roof may save money in the long run by avoiding the added-up costs of multiple repairs or additional damage.
Additionally, a new roof offers the following perks:
- Aesthetics and curb appeal: Roofs typically make up a large portion of your home’s outward appearance. Not only does a new roof look attractive, but it also gives you the opportunity to choose a new color or style of shingle, such as Owens Corning Duration® Series Shingles.
- Increased energy efficiency: Today’s roofing materials have improved greatly in regard to keeping out the elements and reflecting sunlight.
- Peace of mind: Knowing that the people and things you value most are protected from the elements while under your roof helps lessen stress during heavy rains and high winds.